Rodney Campbell's Blog

Novoflex Panorama System…

by on Jul.17, 2016, under Life, Photography

I won a Novoflex single row panorama system (the Classic: VR-System III) late last year. It was part of my prize for winning the panoramic section of the annual Focus Awards.

The prize was supplied by an excellent local retailer Mainline Photographics. These guys are totally awesome and their customer service is second to none so please do check them out.

Milk and Oil

Milk and Oil

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400 x 14 Frames

Mainline to the Rescue

I already had a built in option for doing single row panoramas with my existing Really Right Stuff BH-40 PC-LR ballhead. I chatted with the really helpful guys from Mainline. Long story short – they offered me a straight swap with a Novoflex Multi Row setup with me only having to pay the difference in price!

So it was I was the proud owner of the Novoflex VR-System Pro-II Professional Panoramas Photography System. This is an insanely well engineered piece of kit with a size, bulk and weight to go with it’s normally hefty price tag.

I added a few extra pieces to the kit to I could more easily use it with my existing fully Arca Swiss style setup. Basically an Arca plate on the bottom so I could easily just attach the whole setup on top of my existing ball head and then an extra arca clamp on the pano rig to attach my camera to it via it’s arca L-Bracket which I never take off.

The whole setup is then over 1700g and quite unwieldy so I’d normally never take it out. Unless I knew I’d definitely be doing panoramas or I was driving to the shoot location and didn’t have to walk.

So this beautifully crafted piece of kit lay unused in one of my photography drawers at home… That is until this trip to the remote darkness of Glen Davis and the ruins of the oil shale works.

So this evening was my first use of the Novoflex pano system…

What can I say but this thing is amazing. I’ve shot a number of manually adjusted milky way panorama’s.

Taking source panorama frames manually is a slow, painful and laborious process, fraught with the possibility of stitching failure. Basically in the dark at night you cannot see what you’re composing or how far you’re rotating in the dark (to ensure you’re getting a roughly 50% overlap). If you’re trying to do this with an off centre/off level tilt the difficulty stakes jumps up a whole new level.

Using this Novoflex panorama system made things effortless. The camera can be rotated horizontally and vertically around the nodal point and the click stops make it trivial and error free in the dark.

The panorama above was created using two rows of seven (7) frames (14 frames in total). The first row was at level 0˚ and then the second row was taken with the camera angled upwards for a roughly 50% overlap with the first row.

The Upper Deck

The Upper Deck

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400

I took five separate sets of frames for stitched panoramas that night (because it was so easy to do with this kit). Three horizontal panoramas (including the one above) and two vertical panoramas.

I’m saving one of those panoramas – potentially for my exhibition (or at least until after it :)). I will post two of the others (one of which is a full 360˚ pano) soon :).

Oh and these ruins at Glen Davis really are fantastic, day or night…

Entropy * Photographic Exhibition

One concept; 9 Photographers; 9 Interpretations

Side note – in fact if you’d like to see some of my manually crafted milky way panoramics taken in remote outback Australia please do come along to our exhibition.

Our exhibition will be at The Art Space on the Concourse @ Chatswood (Sydney’s North Shore). It’s showing from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th September 2016 and entry is Free. If you can make it we’d love to see you there.

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